The Complete Papillon (A Ringpress Dog Book of Distinction)


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Papillons have a number of other names, such as Butterfly Dogs, Squirrel Spaniels, and Continental Toy Spaniels. They are charming little dogs, which can be easily trained, and can perform well as agility and obedience dogs. They are also a good choice for therapy dogs, because they are cute-looking, well behaved if properly trained, and small.

Generally, Papillons are outgoing and friendly, though they do need careful socialization, because they are small. Papillons need to meet other dogs, rather than being picked up protectively (a temptation with this breed), but give them a little time to get to know new dogs, and ensure that dogs they meet aren't too rough with them. Some individuals may be barky with bigger dogs, warning them off until they get to know them.

This breed is not a good mix with small children or large-breed dogs, since they are a little fragile. Papillons do, however, get on very well with older children who respect them, and can bond well with canine companions that don't try to take liberties with them.

Housetraining can be slow with this breed, so it's best to take them on short walks for a wee, rather than just putting them outside and hoping they will perform - walks help speed up elimination. Papillons feel the cold, so should not be left outside in cold weather, and they like a jacket in winter. They can also escape easily if left unattended in gardens, since they are small and agile. Grooming is not as difficult as with many long-haired breeds, because their coats are quite thin, but they do need regular grooming. They can be barky, especially if bored, and it helps to walk them to settle them before you go out. Indoor games can also help to settle them if they are bored and it is cold outside.

Generally, Papillons are a healthy breed, though they are sensitive to veterinary pharmaceutical products, and may suffer from eye and knee trouble.

This book is a good introduction to Papillons, it's clearly written, and provides a lot of help with general care. There is also an interesting account of the history of the breed.